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Following energy issues in the state of Connecticut and beyond.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More Changes At State Utility Regulator

Less than 24 hours after announcing that he was appointing Arthur House, a  former Webster Bank executive, as a director of Connecticut's Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, Gov. Dannel Malloy now has another vacancy on the three-member board to fill.

Malloy's office says the Governor offered to re-nominate both Chairman Kevin DelGobbo and Jack Betkoski to new terms on PURA. DelGobbo (shown in photo below from when he was a state representative) declined his re-nomination and will leave PURA on May 11th while Betkoski accepted his and will stay on.

But what is noticeably absent from Malloy's announcement is whether the Governor offered to keep DelGobbo as chairman of PURA as part of the deal. A Malloy spokesman was immediately available Wednesday to comment on whether DelGobbo's re-nomination included plans for the Naugatuck resident remaining chairman.

DelGobbo joined PURA's predecessor, the Department of Public Utility Control, in Jan. 2009, He was made chairman five months later after long time DPUC head Donald Downs retired.

DelGobbo acquitted himself reasonably well as chairman of DPUC/PURA. But so have several other heads of state agencies - Jerry Farrell at Department of Consumer Protection and Mary Healey at the Office of Consumer Counsel come to mind - and Malloy chose not to reappoint them, some would suggest because they are Republicans.

That's what makes DelGobbo's leaving the DPUC so puzzling. Malloy could have chosen not to renominate him at all, but instead offered this complimentary assessment of DelGobbo tenure at the regulatory agency.

Since 2009, Kevin has led DPUC and PURA in charting sound energy policy for the state,”  Malloy said in a written statement.  “I am especially grateful for his service this past year in responding to the two devastating storms that impacted Connecticut, and in particular helping my administration craft policy that will improve service and reliability for residents.  I am very sorry Kevin has not accepted my offer to reappoint him.  He has brought honor and professionalism to his position, and his departure is a loss for all of Connecticut.”

Betkoski, who is shown in the photo at right, has served as a Connecticut utility regulator since 1997. The Beacon Falls resident has served as vice chairman of DPUC/PURA in 2007 and again in 2011.

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